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Old 11-18-2018, 05:30 PM   #1
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Coach won't start - '03 Itasca Horizon with a 330 HP Cat

We have a 2003 Itasca Horizon with a 330 HP Caterpillar Engine on a Freightliner Chassis that will not start.
The motorhome has been sitting in a climate controlled storage area since January, and I had not had a chance to crank it due to illness.
It looks like the fuel filter is not getting any fuel.
Any ideas of what it could be would be greatly appreciated.
We are planning to leave for Florida at the end of December.

Regards
Gunter
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Old 11-19-2018, 11:05 AM   #2
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I assume all batteries are fully charged and that it tries to start. That assumed check the fuel water filter and see if fuel come out or water. If fuel comes out then you are getting fuel to there. It could be the fuel pump but hard to tell. Good luck and let us know if you find the problem. My 2 cents worth.
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:50 PM   #3
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Than you for your reply.
We already changed the fuel filter, and noticed that there is no fuel coming to the filter. The batteries are also fully charged.
I have a Caterpillar mechanic coming tomorrow morning to take a look at it.
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:19 AM   #4
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Than you for your reply.
We already changed the fuel filter, and noticed that there is no fuel coming to the filter. The batteries are also fully charged.
I have a Caterpillar mechanic coming tomorrow morning to take a look at it.
Good luck. Please report back when the mechanic finds the problem.
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:06 PM   #5
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not sure if yours has a man prime lift pump like the cummins but id bet its lost its prime and you need to bleed the injectors
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Old 11-25-2018, 06:20 PM   #6
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Try wrapping a rag around your air hose and pressurizing the fuel tank while attempting to start the engine.Just don't overdo the pressure.
Now to the cause; it must have a tiny air leak in the fuel system, otherwise it wouldn't have lost prime.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:25 PM   #7
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Scuba,
Let's start with some basics. First, being that your coach is a 2003, it is for certain you have the CAT, 3126E, 330HP, correct? If so, you may or may not, have TWO fuel filters. CAT and Freightliner were playing a money game in yours and our era coach building. Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP. Its chassis production date is 10-'03. The coach production date was 11-'03. And ours came with only one filter with water separator attached.

Your 3126 engine operation characteristics are way more than likely, just like the ones on our C-7. And that is, there is no fuel pump in the tank, like other versions of Freightliner chassis coaches. You have what's called the HEUI pump. That stands for Hydraulic Electronic Unit Injector. Without going into a ton of detail, simply put, it is the main injection pump for your fuel injectors. It, through the engine ECM also utilizes engine oil pressure to "augment" fuel injection pressure. 'Nough said on that. But, coupled with that HEUI pump is what's called a "lift pump".

It's job is to supply, at low pressure, fuel to the HEUI pump. It does it's job by "lifting" fuel from the tank and putting it directly into the HEUI pump. But, and this is the biggie here, it can only do it's job if, IF, the entire fuel line system, including all lines and filter(s), are filled solidly with fuel. It can lift fuel from the tank, as long as the system is primed. But, if any air has entered that system, especially if most of the fuel in the lines between the tank has drained back into the tank, then the lift pump cannot compensate and lift fuel.

So, if, for some reason, your fuel has drained back to the tank, then you'll have to do as Ray has suggested and, actually "PRESSURIZE" the fuel tank with compressed air. I know, I did it. Long story short, I goofed up quite a while ago and during a fuel filter change (I have a single filter on our C-7) and by mistake, all my fuel drained back into the tank, about 30' away from the lift pump, whoops!!!

So, after much consultation between me and Freightliner, CAT, and Brett Wolf, it was decided that I needed to pressurize the tank with our home air compressor. I setup the air nozzle with a rag for sealing the fuel fill inlet for the wife. Then, I removed the filter incoming line and, told her to "slightly" pressurize that tank. After about a few seconds of pressure, I had fuel flowing from that inlet line. I quickly reattached it.

However, that was not good enough for a restart. I had to follow the line from the filter to the inlet line into the lift pump. I removed that line and, again, had her pressurize the tank. Again, after a few seconds of pressure in that tank, I now had fuel flowing from the inlet line to the lift pump. While she continued pressurizing the tank, I reconnected it to the lift pump.

I then attempted to start that CAT. After about 5-7 seconds of cranking, it began to come alive. I held on the starter for about another 3-5 seconds to make sure the engine had enough momentum to keep running on its own. That was all it took. From that point on, our C-7 fires up within seconds of touching the start up position.

Now, if this is your case, as has been suggested, your system SHOULD NOT loose its prime, no matter how long it sits. If it has, there's no telling whether or not, it will happen again. So, some investigation might be in order here. Surely let us know how things turn out and, how you get it started.
Scott
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Old 11-25-2018, 08:28 PM   #8
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I had a problem like this once. It turned out the battery cables were not tight on the terminals.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:41 PM   #9
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I had a problem like this once. It turned out the battery cables were not tight on the terminals.
How did that prevent fuel from flowing to the filter?
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:05 AM   #10
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Did you fill the fuel filter with fuel when you reinstalled it? If not, do so and try again.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:05 AM   #11
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Caterpillar won't start no fuel

My 330 Cat did the same thing I found out that the injector pump uses oil pressure to fire it and it's up around 2,000 pounds of pressure it needs to fire the ejector pump the sensor was bad saying that the pressure wasn't there when that happens it will not pump fuel oil to your cylinders cost about $150 to have a new sensor put on just remember there is a sensor for your oil pressure for the engine and there is a sensor for the injector pump which uses the engine oil it sounds like you're high pressure oil sensor is bad
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Old 11-29-2018, 09:23 PM   #12
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How did that prevent fuel from flowing to the filter?
Sorry, I misread the original post. I thought the problem was not starting; as in the the battery was dead.
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Old 12-08-2018, 08:16 PM   #13
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Well,
It's the 8th of Dec and there's been no report on whether or not the OP ever got it started or, what was the cause of the NO START condition.
Scott
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:57 PM   #14
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Hi Everybody, sorry for the late response, but we just moved into our new house and just didn't have time to do anything.
The coach is still not running, we suppose to have a Cat mechanic coming from Knoxville tonight to hook his diagnostic software up and see if he can find anything. That makes the 3rd mechanic and hopefully he can find out what's wrong with the darn thing.
I also talked to the owner where I had the bus towed and asked if they had tried to pressurize the fuel tank and start the engine, he told me that they will try that if the Cat mechanic doesn't find any electrical problems.
Thank you so much everyone for your input, hopefully we will find out something soon. I would hate to cancel our vacation, we really need to get away for a while.
Regards

Gunter
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